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The COVID-19 cases in Kerala continued to be on the rise, with the state reporting 82 new cases on Wednesday, including five healthcare workers. A day before, the state reported 86 fresh cases of infection, the highest single-day spike in new cases.
The state also witnessed 24 more recoveries, the Health Department informed.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan revealed that among the 82 new patients, 53 had returned from abroad while 19 have a travel history to other states.
Among healthcare workers, a total of 37, including doctors and nurses have tested positive by far. Amidst the recent cases reported, almost 30 confirmed infections could not be linked to any source, The Indian Express reported.
One such being of a 77-year-old Christian priest who died on Tuesday, a day after he tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The priest was injured in an accident and thereafter admitted at the district hospital in Thiruvananthapuram since April 20. He had no travel or contact history as per the reports.
His samples were collected earlier this week after he developed breathing problems. Around 20 doctors and 50 other staff of the hospital have now been put in home quarantine following his death.
In another case reported from Kannur, an auto-driver who sustained injuries from an accident was found to be COVID-19 positive. His samples were tested before he went for surgery for a spinal injury. His source of infection could not be learnt.
The medical fraternity has suspected that community spread of the virus may have happened in the state. According to the media reports, the state health department had stated that the cases linked to contact transmission is only 30% of the total cases reported.
However, the central government has not yet confirmed community transmission of the novel coronavirus in India.
While speaking to The Indian Express, the Kerala Government Medical Officers' Association State President, Joseph Chacko, seemed ascertained about the fact that community spread of COVID-19 has already happened in Kerala.
"The stray cases and frequent cases among health workers indicate that there is community spread. The degree of spread could be very less compared to other states. Not all health workers have contracted the virus through direct exposure to suspected or positive cases. Health workers who tested positive have been asymptomatic. We need more safety measures such as testing of samples of all patients (non-COVID-19)," he said.
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